Now that the winter weather is here, Fort Wayne residents are at an increased risk for injuries due to falls on ice and snow. When that happens, who is responsible for the medical bills and other costs that arise from the incident?
In many cases, it will be the homeowner or business owner who will have to assume the financial responsibility for the repercussions of a slip-and-fall that occurs on their premises.
Property owners have duties to uphold
If you own property, you have a duty to maintain that property so that no one gets hurt or harmed due to the adverse conditions.
In the winter time, this definitely includes an icy sidewalk or parking lot that has not been shoveled. Of course, no one expects you to be out there in blizzard conditions with a snow shovel. Most cities and municipalities set forth a period of time in which the property owner becomes responsible for others’ injuries on their icy or snowy property.
A premises liability attorney can review your claim
If you were leaving for work at 3 a.m. and slipped and fell on your neighbor’s ice-covered sidewalk in the middle of a snowstorm, their liability might be decreased substantially because of the circumstances. Nobody can be expected to keep a sidewalk clean when it’s dark out and the snow is still falling.
However, if the same incident occurred at 3 p.m. hours after the snowfall stopped, it could be another story entirely. Because of these and other special circumstances that may have occurred when you slipped and fell on someone else’s property, it’s a good idea to fully understand the legal angle from which you approach a claim for damages.